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Coast Guard Assists Disabled, Adrift Vessel Off Maui

The Coast Guard successfully assisted the crew of the 25-foot pleasure craft Nohuli, safely towing the vessel back to shore after it became disabled and adrift approximately 17 miles north of Kahului, Maui, Sunday.

A 29-foot Response Boat-Small boatcew from Coast Guard Station Maui launched to assist the vessel due to a health condition of one of the passengers, impending sunset and lack of available commercial assistance.

Once onscene, the RB-S crew safely brought the three passengers aboard and placed the Nohuli into a stern tow. The passengers and Nohuli were transported back to Kahului Harbor. No injuries were reported.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received a call from Maui 911 dispatch just before noon Sunday and were conferenced in with the operator of the Nohuli. The operator reported that all three people were wearing lifejackets, had plenty of food and water, were in no immediate danger and had an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon however, one member was diabetic. Attempts to coordinate commercial or good Samaritan assistance were unsuccessful prompting the Coast Guard response.

“We can’t stress enough the importance of having proper equipment and being prepared when out to sea”, said Lt. Victoria Lacefield-Rodriguez, a command duty officer at Sector Honolulu. “The Nohuli crew’s actions are a perfect example of being prepared. This tow was executed perfectly and without further incident by Station Maui, but in the event conditions worsened or something went wrong, having that EPIRB, extra provisions and any necessary medications put this crew in a position to be self sufficient until help arrived.”

Coast Guard Responds to Vessel Taking on Water Off Maui, Death Off Big Island, Busy Weekend

Coast Guard Station Maui personnel responded to a report of a commercial vessel with 21 people aboard taking on water off Maui Sunday.

A Coast Guard Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew escorts the commercial passenger vessel Maka Koa back to port five miles south of Maalaea, Maui, Aug. 14, 2016. The Coast Guard responded to a report of the 43-foot vessel, with 21 people aboard, taking on water off Maui. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Rob Lester/Released)

A Coast Guard Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew escorts the commercial passenger vessel Maka Koa back to port five miles south of Maalaea, Maui, Aug. 14, 2016. The Coast Guard responded to a report of the 43-foot vessel, with 21 people aboard, taking on water off Maui. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Rob Lester/Released)

A Coast Guard Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew arrived on scene five miles south of Maalaea and verified the crew of the 43-foot Maka Koa had the situation in hand before escorting the vessel back to port.

It was determined the vessel was taking on water around their shaft and has since been removed from the water to receive repairs and inspections before returning to service.

Maka Koa

“The Maka Koa crew was very professional and effective in their casualty response,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Rob Lester, a crewman aboard the Station Maui RB-M. “Upon arrival we confirmed the vessel’s installed bilge pumps were keeping up with the leak and provided a standby until they reached port. We applaud the operators quick action identifying the problem and alerting us to what could have become a more severe case.”

Coast Guard crews responded to eight search and rescue and marine safety cases between Friday and Sunday.

Friday, the Coast Guard responded to a possible hoax call resulting from an email sent by a member of the public seeking employment with the Coast Guard. The individual ultimately apologized for the action. No Coast Guard assets were launched for the case. The public is reminded that hoax calls are against the law and can divert resources from necessary search and rescue or other operations. Those found guilty of committing a hoax call may receive fines or jail time.

Also, Friday the crew of the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) conducted an at-sea boarding of the commercial fishing vessel Blue Sky a mile south of Honolulu.

USCGC Galveston Island

USCGC Galveston Island

As a result of extremely hazardous conditions and safety violations the Galveston Island crew terminated the crew’s voyage and escorted the vessel to Pier 38 in Honolulu where they were met by personnel from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu to address all discrepancies are ensure they are rectified prior to the vessel getting underway again.

Coast Guard marine investigators in Maui are responding to the reported death of a diver Friday. The operator of a commercial vessel notified the Coast Guard of the incident involving a middle-aged man who became distressed while conducting a night dive off Big Island. The crew of the vessel recovered the man and contacted emergency medical services who met them at Honokohau Marina. He was transferred to Kona Hospital.

Hawaii is home to 340 small passenger vessels, 139 of which support snorkel and dive operations. Such incidents are reportable marine casualties under the Code of Federal Regulations and after addressing the immediate issue the master is required to notify the Coast Guard.

Saturday crews from Station Maui and the Maui Fire Department responded to a report of an adrift pool toy 200-yards off Kaanapali. The toy was located and recovered. Maui Fire Department resources and a Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin crew conducted searches in the area to ensure no one was in distress. The case was closed.

Also, Saturday the crew of the Galveston Island conducted an at-sea boarding of the commercial fishing vessel Jennifer Lynn near Honolulu. The crew’s voyage was terminated and they were escorted back to port as a result of extremely hazardous conditions and safety violations. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu personnel will address all discrepancies and ensure they are rectified prior to the vessel getting underway again.

Sunday crews in Kauai responded to a report of an overdue vessel. It was reported that a 26-yeear-old man had departed Mahaulepa Beach Saturday to fish and failed to return.

Coast Guard Station Kauai, Air Station Barbers Point and the USCGC Kiska (WPB-1336) were launched to respond. Kauai Fire Department personnel also searched. Shortly after launching assets Kauai police located the man ashore and well in Ahukini Park.

Also Sunday, the Coast Guard received notification of a 60-year-old Japanese citizen who experienced symptoms of a heart attack while snorkeling off a commercial vessel on the west side of Oahu. The man was transferred to shore and met by emergency medical personnel who took him to Queen’s Medical Center. Again, such incidents are not uncommon and the operators of commercial vessels report occurrences to the Coast Guard in line with the requirements for inspected commercial vessels. Coast Guard investigators from Sector Honolulu are reviewing the case.

The Coast Guard reminds all mariners to meet and maintain safety requirements and plan ahead for voyages. At the first sign of distress contact the Coast Guard.

Two Children, Three Adults Safe After Boat Capsizes Off Kaena Point

Two children and three adults are safe after they were rescued from their capsized vessel off Kaena Point Saturday morning.

capsized boat

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received a mayday call over VHF channel 16 at 6:41 a.m. after the 17-foot pleasure craft capsized.  A 45-foot Response Boat Medium crew from Station Honolulu and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point were immediately launched to the scene.

The Dolphin crew arrived and found the two children in lifejackets and the three adults not in lifejackets, clinging to the overturned vessel.  A rescue swimmer was lowered to the water and rescued one adult man and the two children.  A vessel that was nearby rescued the two other men.

Sector Honolulu coordinated with the Honolulu Fire Department to setup an incident command post at Dillingham Airfield where emergency medical technicians provided treatment. The response boat crew marked the position of the capsized vessel and the location is being broadcast over VHF Channel 16 to notify mariners of the capsized vessel until it is removed.

“This rescue is a perfect example of why boaters must be sure they have good safety equipment and reliable communications before heading out on the water” said Lt Kevin Cooper, Sector Honolulu public affairs officer.  “Because this boat had a working VHF radio and properly sized lifejackets for the children, we were able to determine the boat’s location and rescuers were able to save five lives in distress.”

The Coast Guard recommends all mariners ensure they are prepared before heading out on the water. This includes having appropriate safety equipment, checking local weather conditions and ensuring the vessel is seaworthy. For more information on bopating safety visit www.uscgboating.org.

For more information contact Lt. Kevin Cooper, Sector Honolulu public affairs officer at (808) 286-4675 or Lt. Casey Corpe, Air Station Barbers Point public affairs officer at (808) 682-2750.

Large Chinese Vessel to Participate in Maritime Exercises off Hawaiian Waters

I’ve gotten to participate in a few RIMPAC exercises over the last few years.  Here is another exercise that will be happening off the Hawaiian waters soon that will feature one of China’s biggest maritime patrol ships and the U.S. Coast Guard:

Haixun 31 maritime patrol vessel

The Haixun 31 maritime patrol vessel, one of China’s biggest maritime patrol ships, will set out for its first visit to the United States on Saturday.

Scheduled to depart from Shanghai at 10:30 am, Haixun 31 is expected to arrive in Hawaii on Sept 4. It will be there for five days to work with the US Coast Guard on a series of maritime cooperation exercises, including a field test of joint search-and-rescues…

…Gene Maestas, public-affairs officer of the Hawaii-based 14th Coast Guard District under the US Department of Homeland Security, confirmed the upcoming joint search-and-rescue operation…

…Apart from the regular cooperation on oceanic safety, Haixun 31 will also be open to the US public for a day during its visit…

More here: Patrol Vessel Heads to Hawaii for Joint Exercises

The public is invited aboard the ship for a day. I urge those with an interest to go check it out!

The public will be invited aboard!